Adventures in the Cradle of Humankind

Posted on December 21, 2018 — Pakamani Nombila

Holidays exist so that we can go on much-desired outings, take family trips and enjoy adventures. The Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site is jam-packed with adrenaline-pumping and heart-stopping activities to enjoy these holidays.

The Cradle is among South Africa’s most fascinating tourist hotspots, offering visitors everything from archaeology to outdoor adventures. If you're an adrenaline junkie looking to blow off some steam, then this the place for you.

Here are some fun outdoor adventures you can enjoy in the Cradle of Humankind ...

Hot-air ballooning

If you’ve ever wanted to see the stunning scenery of rolling hills, open grassland, and winding rivers of the 47 000ha Cradle of Humankind, then a hot-air balloon trip is for you.

AirVentures Hot-Air Ballooning offers balloon flights over this iconic UNESCO World Heritage Site, during which visitors can enjoy breathtaking scenery, wildlife and the sunrise, while drifting slowly over a truly African landscape.

There are a variety of packages from to choose from: the Classic Flight, on which guests drift gently over the serene Cradle of Humankind; the Safari Flight over selected game reserves; and the Exclusive Safari Flight, limited to two people only or couples.

Flights are between three and four hours, and breakfast, refreshments and sparkling wine or orange juice are included.

Cruising over the scenic Cradle of Humankind landscape at sunrise.

Cruising over the scenic Cradle of Humankind landscape at sunrise. (Image: swarts_monique)

Underground cave adventures

The Cradle is world-famous for its archaeological caves that help tell the story of human evolution. Wild Cave Adventures offers cave tours within the Cradle to those with brave hearts.

During a tour with experienced guides, visitors can look forward to exploring the underground world of caves while learning about environmental sustainability. Be prepared for a unique blend of great adventure and ecological awareness that will hold your interest.

These tours include abseiling into dark caves, vertical rock-face climbing and exploring the caves. Visitors who choose the less extreme tour of the caves can look forward to learning about the rich history of caves in Cradle, fossil discoveries that have been made, and viewing Stone Age tools.

All equipment and gear needed for the cave tours is provided and no previous experience is needed to take on this adventure.

A tour to the underground world.

A tour to the underground world. (Image: her_bossbabe)

Airboat rides on Hartbeespoort Dam

Airboat Afrika is South Africa's only airboat company, and is located at the Eagle Waters Wildlife Resort. An airboat is a shallow-draught boat powered by an aircraft engine used in lakes, dams and swamps. Airboat Afrika offers visitors to the Cradle of Humankind a thrilling airboat ride on Hartbeespoort Dam.

There are two airboat rides to choose from: the Airboat Ride 'n' Slide that is 15 minutes long, and the Harties Airboat Explorer that takes 60 minutes. The Airboat Explorer, a fun ride and rush on the open water, is 15km long, and highlights include seeing the Hartbeespoort Dam wall, the Magaliesberg mountains, the old railway bridge and the Crocodile River, among others.

Eagle Waters Wildlife Resort is home to zebra and hartebeest, which visitors may see while taking an airboat trip. Bookings are essential if you’re looking to try out this heart-stopping adventure.

To make a booking, contact +27 (0)11 782 2302 or email

For more experiences offered in the Cradle of Humankind, including wildlife, culture and craft, click here.

The majestic Hartbeespoort Dam.

The majestic Hartbeespoort Dam. (Image: airboat.afrika)